Tom Aspinall continues to push the bar on his potential.

The rising UFC heavyweight contender had a big test in front of him in the main event of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 204, and he passed it with ease. Aspinall (11-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC) submitted former Bellator champion and longtime UFC contender Alexander Volkov in the first round of their contest. The official stoppage came at the 3:45 mark of Round 1.

It was a dominant showing by Aspinall. The 28-year-old outworked Volkov (34-9 MMA, 8-3 UFC) in all areas of the game. Early in the round, Aspinall connected on Volkov while also avoiding any big shots coming his way. Aspinall then took Volkov down and landed heavy ground-and-pound to split him open on the side of his head. Volkov got back up, but eventually was taken down again and submitted seconds later with a straight armlock.

UFC Fight Night 204 results: Gunnar Nelson tops Takashi Sato for first win since December 2018

UFC Fight Night 204 video: Molly McCann starches Luana Carolina in KO of the Year candidate

With the win, Aspinall continued his unbeaten run in the UFC and his rise up the heavyweight rankings. Aspinall is on an eight-fight winning streak, which includes five victories under the UFC banner. Apinall hasn’t lost since May 2016.

Volkov was unable to build off his unanimous decision win over Marcin Tybura at UFC 267 this past October. He’s 1-2 in his past three fights. The other loss came to former UFC interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane in June 2021. It was Volkov’s second career submission loss and first since 2010.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 204 results include:

Tom Aspinall def. Alexander Volkov via submission (straight armlock) – Round 1, 3:45
Arnold Allen def. Dan Hooker via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:33
Paddy Pimblett def. Kazula Vargas via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:49
Gunnar Nelson def. Takashi Sato via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Molly McCann def. Luana Carolina via knockout (spinning back elbow) – Round 3, 1:52
Ilia Topuria def. Jai Herbert via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 1:07
Makwan Amirkhani def. Mike Grundy via technical submission (anaconda choke) – Round 1, 0:57
Sergei Pavlovich def. Shamil Abdurakhimov via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:03
Paul Craig def. Nikita Krylov via submission (triangle choke) – Round 1, 3:57
Jack Shore def. Timur Valiev via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
Elise Reed def. Cory McKenna via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
Muhammad Mokaev def. Cody Durden via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 0:58

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